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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Musical for Kids at Black Box Performing Arts Center in Teaneck

SPROUTED! is the second professional musical for kids in BBPAC’s 2018 season of professional theater. While the company brings free Shakespeare to the park - with fully staged professional productions of Macbeth and Twelfth Night - to Teaneck, Englewood, Ridgewood, and Park Ridge, the new show performs in the Black Box Performing Arts Center. SPROUTED!  Runs on many weekend mornings from July 28 through August 23, at  200 Walraven Drive  (just off  Palisade Ave.), Teaneck, NJ 07666.  Box office: (201) 357-2221.

About SPROUTED!, children’s theater, and the workshop process, cast members have this to share:

"The process of SPROUTED! is highly collaborative. We are constantly building and creating from script, and our input is always valued. Nachi Lederer, our incredible director and playwright is always in the rehearsal room, giving specific direction and feedback to the cast which has been a gift! This show has everything from beautiful music to fun dancing and a grand storyline! I am so excited for audiences of all ages to experience this magical work of art that we have worked so hard to create!" - Eliana Swartz

“There's something extremely fulfilling about children's theatre. It's a real opportunity to engross children in a story and have an active impact on their lives. I remember getting completely drawn into shows I saw when I was younger, and I can't wait for this show to make that same impact!” - Nathan David Smith

"I’m so excited to share the story of SPROUTED! The process of creating the show has been so collaborative and filled with love and support among the entire cast and creative team. It has been so exciting to see how much the show has grown from the first read, and it will be even more exciting to see it continue to grow past opening night. We can’t wait to share SPROUTED! with everyone!" - Kira Gavalakis
In SPROUTED!, Jack and his mother live in the farmlands of Bovina, New York. When Jack's most loyal friend, Mo, (who just so happens to be the most adorable agender dairy cow,) can no longer produce any milk, Jack's mother demands that he ventures into NYC to put Mo up for sale. In the midst of trying to earn some money to bring back to his mother, Jack loses Mo in the streets of Times Square. There, he acquires a  bean that he is told contains magic. Jack is challenged to make the right choices in difficult situations throughout  his wild adventures, during which he learns lessons about responsibility and acceptance. With lively songs and witty dialogue throughout, SPROUTED! is a one-act musical comedy that the whole family can enjoy. 

SPROUTED! plays the following performance schedule:

Saturday 7/28, 11am
Sunday 7/29, 11am
Saturday 8/4, 11am and 2pm
Sunday 8/5, 11am
Saturday 8/11, 11am and 2pm
Sunday 8/12, 11am
Saturday 8/18, 11am
Sunday 8/19, 11am
Thursday 8/23, 7pm

Tickets are $15 for kids and seniors, and $20 for adults. Tickets are available at Group rates for 10 or more are available by calling (201) 357-2221. Tickets can also be purchased at the venue; please call (201) 357-2221 for box office hours.

Black Box Performing Arts Center is located at 200 Walraven Drive, just off Palisade Ave., Teaneck, NJ 07666. Following this summer’s extended production of HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, the New York City area’s most eclectic theatre offerings continue at BBPAC with SPROUTED!  for kids and families, and with Macbeth and Twelfth Night in the park throughout August. To find our more about current and upcoming BBPAC productions, visit

‘Light Opera of NJ has big winner with Hunchback”


Last 3 performances Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at SOPAC!


"This musical has passion, combined with an excellent story and beautiful vocals and acting- buy your tickets now before the show closes next Sunday, July 22nd. It really is Broadway in South Orange."-Sarah Gordin,, READ MORE

"The LONJ production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, directed by Jeffrey Fiorello with musical direction by Stephen Fox and choreography by Michael Scannelli is a spectacular DON'T MISS event."-Rick Busciglio, NJ Footlights, READ MORE

"There are no plans to take this production to Broadway, so get on over to SOPAC to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This splendid piece of musical theater is worth every penny of the ticket you buy."-Ruth Ross, NJ Arts Maven, READ MORE

SOPAC (South Orange Performing Arts Center)


South Orange, New Jersey

Friday and Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 2pm!

New block of tickets available due to popular demand!

To close the season in the summer, LONJ presents Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz's soaring masterpiece, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, directed by Jeffrey Fiorello with musical direction by Stephen Fox and choreography by Michael Scannelli. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo and songs from the Disney film, Hunchback showcases the film's Academy Award-nominated score as well as new songs by Menken and Schwartz. Peter Parnell's new book blends the adapted story from the film with more sections of Hugo's gothic novel to tell the gripping tale of Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer of Notre Dame, and his dreams for love and freedom.

Enjoy this first look at the show!


Student tickets are available at the door!

Bring your Student ID and enjoy the performance for $20-$25!




'The Outsiders' at Holmdel this weekend

Holmdel Theatre Company presents
adapted by Christopher Sergel
directed by Kirk White
produced by Laurie Devino
July 20 (sold out), 21, 27, 28, Aug 3, 4 at 8pm
July 22, 29, Aug 5 at 2pm
Written by S.E. Hinton when she was just 16 years old, The Outsiders is a classic coming-of-age story, seen through the eyes of Ponyboy, a Greaser on the wrong side of life who is caught up in territorial battles between the have-it-made rich kids, "The Socs," and his tough, underprivileged family and friends. As these young people try to find themselves and each other, the sadness of sophistication begins to reach them, and change them.
Bella Ashton, Matthew Blankley, Vincent Costanza, Lisa Catalfamo, Hudson Eder, Colby Hedglin, Thomas Hernandez, Faith King, Robert Landau, Frenel Legentus, Morgan Minatee, Grace Molloy, Daniel Nugent, Isobel Rampulla, Stephen Roberson, Neddy Rossi, Paige Singer, Wesley Swan, Danny Tramontana, Rebecca Yi
All performances are at the Duncan Smith Theater, 36 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel, New Jersey 07733 (The white barn in front of the Holmdel High School) For more info visit
Ticket prices are $25 general public ($20 for seniors and $15 for students).
Tickets may be purchased by clicking the link below.

N J Association of Verismo Opera 30th Annual International Vocal Competition-new location and audition dates

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera announces a new location and audition dates for the organization's 30th Annual International Vocal Competition.  Artistic Director Lucine Amara reminds vocalists of all ages and vocal fachs worldwide to apply to the vocal competition and take advantage of the early bird registration deadline of July 31, 2018.  The final application deadline is October 18, 2018.

            "The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 30th Annual International Vocal Competition is open to singers of all ages and vocal fachs.  Applicants may sing in any category -- verismo or another," said Amara, who performed at the Metropolitan Opera for 41 years with opera houses and symphonies throughout the world.


            The preliminary auditions take place at Shetler Studios, located at 244 West 54th Street in New York City, New York in the United States of America.  In 2018, the preliminary audition dates and times are now November 1, 9, and 16 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and November 3 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  The final auditions are held on December 11 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  A professional accompanist is provided to all vocalists participating in the preliminary and final auditions.  Applicants may also bring their own accompanist.

            At the preliminary auditions, a luminary panel of judges officiates, including Metropolitan Opera legend Lucine Amara; Maestra Lucy Arner, Music Director/Principal Conductor, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera; and Evelyn La Quaif, General Manager and Stage Director, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera.  Upon request, the judges' comments are sent to all the preliminary participants and finalists.

Free Master Class

            A free master class is offered to all applicants accepted to participate in the preliminary auditions.  Finalists selected to perform in the vocal competition may attend three four-hour free master classes.  During the master classes led by Amara (photo) and La Quaif, artists learn deportment, language, style and presentation at auditions. 

            The free master class for applicants accepted to the preliminary auditions is offered on November 19 and November 21, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  These classes take place at Yeoryia Studios in the Otello Room on the fifth floor, located at 2067 Broadway, between 71st and 72nd Streets, in New York, New York.

            Finalists are given feedback; extensive free coaching on language, style and presentation; and the opportunity to perform in Verismo Opera's fully staged upcoming productions.  Winners receive cash awards totaling $3,500 ($2,000 first prize, $1,000 second prize and $500 third prize). 


            All applicants are required to send an application, a resume, a bio, an MP3 file or a CD containing an aria recording, an 8 x 10 black and white photo, and the application fee.  An application may be downloaded at  Applicants will be notified if they are accepted into the competition.

            The early bird registration fee, $55, is in effect through July 31, 2018, changing to $75 on August 1, 2018.  Payment may be made securely online at located at the bottom of the page or by check made out and sent to Verismo Opera, P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024-9024.

            Verismo Opera, the Bergen Performing Arts Center's (bergenPAC) house opera company, is recognized for providing opportunities for artists to learn and perform in a professional environment with a live orchestra.  Vocal competition winners and finalists perform in several of Verismo Opera's productions.  The 28th and 29th Annual International Vocal Competition's first prize winners, sopranos Zhanna Alkhazova and Yulan Piao, performed in Verismo Opera's debut of Turandot.

            For further information or to schedule an audition appointment, contact or call (201) 886-0561.

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera

            For 29 years, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization headquartered in Fort Lee, New Jersey, has been an integral part of the region’s classical music culture.  Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera is the Bergen Performing Arts Center's house opera company.  Verismo Opera provides performing opportunities for artists through semi-annual productions and concerts, directs an international vocal competition drawing artists worldwide, and organizes opera workshops and master classes.

            For information, visit Verismo Opera's web site,; follow the company on Facebook,, or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.

PHOTO: Soprano Zhanna Alkhazova received first prize in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 28th Annual International Vocal Competition and performed the lead role in the company's production of Turandot in 2018.

Photo Credit: Barrie Proctor Bonacci

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (School Edition) presented by Stage Craft Studio in Plainfield

Stage Craft Studio is proud to announce its summer youth production, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (School Edition), a beloved Broadway classic and one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history. This dramatic historical account of the aftermath of France’s July Revolution will run from July 27 - 29 in the Union Catholic High School Performing Arts Center.

This year, Stage Craft Studio offered a brand new six-week workshop for performers ages 13-22. The program was run under Actors’ Equity Association guidelines, so that the studio’s young performers could experience the rigor and satisfaction of a professional production process. The program’s participants are proud and excited to perform for the community.

The story of Les Misérables is as significant now as it was in Hugo’s time, director Maggie Graham says, “We at Stage Craft Studio have been truly inspired by the youth of our nation. In Les Misérables the leader of the student revolution, Enjolras declares ‘It is time for us all to decide who we are and these words are perhaps more true in our times than ever before. Today, America’s students are raising their voices to be heard. Whether or not you embrace the students’ message, everyone can certainly understand the parallels in our current times. History is always repeating and we’d be wise to heed it’s lessons.”

Interested parties can learn more about the show, reserve seats, and purchase tickets by emailing or calling (908) 322-6101.

Production of
Performed entirely by students
Based on the novel by VICTOR HUGO
Original French text by ALAIN BOUBLIL and JEAN-MARC NATEL
Additional material by JAMES FENTON
Original Orchestrations by JOHN CAMERON
Originally Produced by CAMERON MACKINTOSH
School Edition specially adapted and licensed by